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The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act

clock June 21, 2009 06:27 by author blogadmin
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 made significant changes to the energy efficiency tax credits that applies to products.

 

On February 17, 2009, The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 made significant changes to the energy efficiency tax credits. These changes apply to products "placed in service" in 2009. The highlights are: 

·         The tax credits that were previously effective for 2009, have been extended to 2010 as well.

·         The tax credit has been raised from 10% to 30%.

·         The tax credits that were for a specific dollar amount (ex $300 for a CAC), have been converted to 30% of the cost.

·         The maximum credit has been raised from $500 to $1,500 total for the two year period (2009-2010). However, some improvements such as geothermal heat pumps, solar water heaters, and solar panels are not subject to the $1,500 maximum.

·         The $200 cap on windows has been removed, but the requirements for windows has been increased significantly. Not all ENERGY STAR qualified windows will qualify.   

 

Federal Tax Credits for Energy Efficiency includes:

·         Tax Credits for Consumers

o    Tax credits are available at 30% of the cost, up to $1,500, in 2009 & 2010 (for existing homes only) for:

§  Windows and Doors§  Insulation§  Roofs (Metal and Asphalt)§  HVAC§  Water Heaters (non-solar)§  Biomass Stoves

o    Tax credits are available at 30% of the cost, with no upper limit through 2016 (for existing homes & new construction) for:

§  Geothermal Heat Pumps§  Solar Panels§  Solar Water Heaters§  Small Wind Energy Systems§  Fuel Cells

**Please note, not all ENERGY STAR qualified homes and products qualify for a tax credit. These tax credits are available for a number of products at the highest efficiency levels, which typically cost much more than standard products. If, for whatever reason, you decide not to purchase a product covered by the tax credit, you may still consider purchasing an ENERGY STAR product. ENERGY STAR distinguishes energy efficient products which, although they may cost more to purchase than standard models, will pay you back in lower energy bills within a reasonable amount of time, without a tax credit. 

Tax Credits for Consumers: 

Home ImprovementsTax credits are now available for home improvements:

·         must be "placed in service" from January 1, 2009 through December 31, 2010

·         must be for taxpayer's principal residence, EXCEPT for geothermal heat pumps, solar water heaters, solar panels, and small wind energy systems (where second homes and rentals qualify)

·         $1,500 is the maximum total amount that can be claimed for all products placed in service in 2009 & 2010 for most home improvements, EXCEPT for geothermal heat pumps, solar water heaters, solar panels, fuel cells, and small wind energy systems which are not subject to this cap, and are in effect through 2016

·         must have a Manufacturer Certification Statement to qualify

·         for record keeping, save your receipts and the Manufacturer Certification Statement

·         improvements made in 2009 will be claimed on your 2009 taxes (filed by April 15, 2010) — use IRS Tax Form 5695 (2009 version) — it will be available late 2009 or early 2010

·         If you are building a new home, you can qualify for the tax credit for geothermal heat pumps, photovoltaics, solar water heaters, small wind energy systems and fuel cells, but not the tax credits for windows, doors, insulation, roofs, HVAC, or non-solar water heaters. 

 



Cost of Foundation Repair

clock June 3, 2009 09:16 by author blogadmin
Putting off home foundation repairs will cost you more money in the long run and put your family's safety in jeopardy. Hire a professional right away.

 

The cost of home foundation repairs has more to do with the long term costs verses the short term cost. What will it cost me if I do not do the foundation repair work, is the better question when deciding if you are going to hire a foundation repair contractor. Will not doing the repairs cost me more later? Taking care of your homes foundation maintains your home’s value. If your foundation is about to collapse the rest of your home is soon to follow. Putting off home foundation repairs will always cost you more in the long run.

 

As soon as you think that you may need repairs you only have two options, first, do I hire a foundation engineer? Second, do I hire a foundation repair specialist? While both may be needed, the order that you hire them is dependent upon the circumstances. If you have settlement or other structural issue hiring a foundation engineer is the best course of action. If your doors or windows are sticking, your foundation has large cracks and ruptures or you have major visual damage hiring an engineer can save you money. Hiring an engineer not only provides you with a person with your best interest in mind but also an expert to oversee the repairs being done.

 

If you have smaller cracks or other signs of preliminary movement, hiring a foundation repair expert to give you an evaluation becomes the smartest move. A qualified foundation repair expert that has been trained in repairing your home can provide you with the best method of repair at a reasonable price. The contractors take many factors into consideration when calculating the estimate for the repair of your foundation. After they have done their initial inspection, they will assess the damage and determine how long it will take to fix the foundation. Other than the labor cost the estimates will also depend on the type of material will be used, as well as the cause of the damage. While he does not have the education and training that an engineer has, a good quality foundation repair contractor can steer you in the right direction in determining the extent of the damage along with its cause.

 

So now the real question – what is this going to cost me? The answer is as vague as the question is. What is the extent of the damage, what type of foundation is it, what other areas of the home have been impacted and what has to be done are the questions that need answered by qualified professionals. Then, and only then, can the question of actual costs be answered. Remember repairing your home is one of the areas where you get what you pay for. Quality repairs can be done for a couple hundred dollars for minor repairs or tens of thousands of dollars for major repairs.

 

Do your research and interview an engineer and or a foundation contractor or two before making any decisions. Education is the key to not over paying for foundation repairs. Knowing the signs of problems, hiring an engineer that evaluates then oversees the repairs and understanding the cause of foundation problems will prevent you from wasting your hard earned money. Research and education will also make sure that you can spot a quality foundation repair job when it is complete.

 



New Crawl Space Repair Bracket

clock May 29, 2009 04:40 by author blogadmin
The newest piering system made by ECP is the Perfect Pier. It is designed to be used in crawl spaces and other limited access areas of a home or building.

 

Earth Contact Products is proud to introduce it newest piering system in their lineup of steel push piers. The ECP Perfect Pier is a patented concentric resistance pier for the foundation repair market. The pier is designed to be placed and installed below the footing and driven to a load bearing stratum while maintaining ECP’s stringent requirement of executing a manifold lifting system. These two features makes the Perfect Pier system the most unique foundation repair bracket since ECP introduced their patent pending Micro Pier bracket.

 

The ECP Perfect Pier underpinning system is specially designed to be used in crawl spaces and other limited access areas of a home or commercial building. Due to it’s compact size and lack of a drive stand the pier system can be used in limited access areas while maintaining an adjustable platform by which to lift a structure. This unique combination gives foundation repair contractors and homeowners alike a safe means to support structures without altering the structure. Do not get fooled by imitations demand the original ECP push pier system.

 

For more information about the ECP Perfect Pier contact Weston Opat @ 866-327-0007.

 

US Patent # 7,044,686



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